RSS Feed

Tag Archives: vegetarianism

5 Seconds of Fame

(This entry was written on November 25, 2013 but was not public until now because of promotional protocol.)

There is nothing small on me:  I am a tall curvy broad with a big heart and an even bigger mouth.  Luckily, the internet will have a chance to see it all, along with 9 other fabulous ladies of all ages and backgrounds, in an online commercial for SmartOnes® frozen meals released in January 2014.

It seems signing up  to receive coupons via e-mail for SmartOnes® led me to this pretty awesome opportunity.  As practical as I try to be in day to day life, I do believe things happen for a reason and this opportunity was meant to cross my path.  I got this e-mail from Weight Watchers SmartOnes® in November that stated:

We’re reaching out to a small group of loyal Smart Ones® fans to ask for your help with a fun project. We’re shooting a video in your local area to announce an exciting new Smart Ones® initiative and we’d like you to be a part of it! You’ll have the opportunity to share your thoughts about Smart Ones® and connect with other fans.

If you’re interested in joining us, just email xxxxxxxx@eatyourbest.com and we’ll send you more details.

Thanks in advance and hope you can make it!

Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® Brand Team

I have never been a member of Weight Watchers though I have adopted some of their philosophy and I think it’s a great program.  But I do sign up for multiple coupon deals online and this was a message I almost deleted until I actually read it and thought, why not find out more information?  (Props to their branding company for capturing my attention and not getting me to delete an e-mail that didn’t have coupons in it.)

After contacting the company I learned that they are looking for fans to share their thoughts about food, SmartOnes® in particular, as well as their food triggers/struggles on camera for possible use for a SmartOnes® online promotion.  Basically, everything I talk and fight with on a daily basis on and off this blog!  I had a phone interview with the lovely Shannon who helped cast this commercial and is a Senior Account Executive for Digital Marketing at Ferrara & Company.   Yes, this commercial will be featured on the SmartOnes® website only, although I feel more people are forced to watch online ads since they can fast forward through them on TV so it may actually be seen more often!

I texted this to Shannon the week before the shoot haha

Practicing my promo skillz.

On the phone, Shannon told me more about the new SmartOnes® promotion and I told her probably TOO much about myself, including sending her the link to a certain Happy & Healthy Kate blog post that seemed quite fitting for this subject.  We talked about my background, my constant battle with food, struggles with portion control, my weight loss, my weight gain, then weight loss again!  I felt very confident I would not have to lie in this commercial because my freezer is actually always stocked with SmartOnes® for two reasons:  1. They have a variety of vegetarian options that are damn delicious! 2. They almost always have coupons.  After a nice conversation she said I’d be perfect and she’d be in touch with more details on times and location.

20131124-173653.jpg

They were not kidding that this was being filmed in “my area”.  It was filmed at Studio Park  in Hamilton, located 4 miles from my house in Ewing, NJ.  In addition to being a part of this project, I discovered an industrial studio & open art space right in my own back yard.  I love that!  It was a pretty great experience from beginning to end.  The video shoot was on 11/23 from 9am-1pm, though I was done on camera around noon and hung out to eat and cause a ruckus.  The day including a legit makeup artist who kept coming to my rescue with paper towels when I was “glowing” a bit too much on camera, a delicious breakfast and lunch (yay craft services!), and an American Express gift card given to each participant for our time.  It also came with hours of smiles and laughter.  I honestly would have done it for free.  Don’t tell them that though.

My cohort & co-star Jenna loves pickles.

My cohort & co-star Jenna loves pickles.

The commercial is part of their new “wipe the slate clean” initiative.  SmartOnes® wants to focus on how we are all human (love that), that we may not always make the best food choices as we give in excess to our temptations, but not to let the guilt cause us to quit any future attempt to eat better.  We of course talked about how SmartOnes® can help get you back on this healthy track and how you always have the next meal to choose a healthier choice.  It’s very in tune with my own philosophy that tomorrow is a new day and a small or even large detour should not cause you to stop, but it may just take longer to get to your destination.  SmartOnes® actually does help me get back on track if I stray from my healthy eating habits, all the while saving money and reminding me what a healthy portion control looks like. Portion size is always an issue for me, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach.

I’m a huge supporter of those who cook fresh and organic cuisine and make the time and effort to lead such a healthy and natural life.  I would love to have that drive in me, but for me a delicious low calorie frozen meal is my go to when I don’t have time or the inspiration to make my own fresh food.  Maybe one day that will change when I have a family of my own or just decide I need to start eating more organically.  Fresh food always tastes better, but let me tell you, these meals are great to grab on the go for a penny pinching vegetarian like myself.

20131124-173517.jpg

They filmed us in groups and individually.  I’ve worked in production and post-production from 2000-2005 and doing this commercial made me miss the entertainment game. Although, it was strange to be on the other side of things instead of behind the scenes.  I never liked being in front of the camera and for the most part I like having control over what images get released of my face and body.  I decided that during this “35th Year of Katy” I’m following opportunities that may lead me out of my comfort zone.  Part of that journey includes accepting my physical self and inspiring others to do the same, as well as spread the word that they are not alone in their struggles with self esteem and discipline.  I think participating in this SmartOnes® initiative aided in all of those goals!

20131124-173744.jpg

Here are some fun facts I learned during my debut on camera:

1. Apparently there is a gel for eyebrows.  After complimenting me on my eyebrows the makeup artist brushed gel on them to keep them neat.  I am pretty sure I’m going to do this daily now since I have a crazy Scorsese cowlick on my right brow.

2. People truly do think I’m still in my 20s and it’s awesome.  A couple of team members seemed surprised when I told them I was 35.  I respond as I always do:  It’s because I don’t have kids to age me.

3. I am not the only one who sweats when they are nervous. It was ironically refreshing to talk to my “co-stars” about how much they were sweating in their pits.

4. I suck at being fed lines to repeat, but I can ramble on forever about my own thoughts.  I also find I can write my thoughts much more clearer than speak them.  This is officially evident on tape.  They pretty much had to tell me to shorten my answers every time and I had to yell cut and redo my lines multiple times.

5. Stepping out of your comfort zone can get you a new friend.  I met my future co-star of our spin off, The Jenna & Katy Show, when she walked in an hour late traveling from the Bronx to be a part of this opportunity.  I knew I’d love her when I said her name reminded me of a porn star, and she said that’s how she tells people to remember it.  We had instant chemistry that the producers picked up on and filmed us just being awesome together in our own little corner until we got yelled at for being too loud while they interviewed the rest of the participants.

With Jenna during our corner shoot.

With Jenna during our corner shoot.

6. It has been officially confirmed by professionals that I have a big personality.  Who knew my weirdness was something that they wanted to capture on tape?!  I just hope I wasn’t too awkward on camera and some genuine entertaining Katy moments can be salvaged.  It’s nerve wracking to be “yourself” with 4 cameras on you at once while being told to say the same thing 4-5 times, I have mad respect for my actor friends.  I’m assuming my future career as a talk show host may take some getting used to.  I did request cue cards and threaten to walk off the shoot when they didn’t have my favorite SmartOnes meal for me to endorse (omg, delicious Sesame Noodles with Vegetables).  I naturally needed to practice hissy fits for my future fame!

7. SmartOnes®  and the Ferrara & Company Marketing associates & their hired crew are wonderful to work with.  They are warm and welcoming and made me feel much more at ease on camera than I thought I would be.  Shannon recruited the ladies and she was extremely helpful, informative, and fun.  Suzanne interviewed us all and she was encouraging and reassuring.  The crew was friendly, approachable, and helpful as well.  Working with these great people made the experience that much more enjoyable!

Just a few cameras in yo' face.

Suzanne prompting us with her questions.

All in all this was a hilarious and unusual experience for me and regardless of how I think I look on camera, I’m going to share the final commercial with everyone I know.  I believe the message of moving past your guilt of overreating to start fresh is inspirational and I’m excited that I got to be a part of it.

Thus begins my 5 seconds of fame.

UPDATE 2/7/14.

*drumroll please* – The video from EatYourBest.com Clean Slate Project featuring my and Jenna’s adorable face and where you will come to learn about my peanut butter addiction!

8 months down, 53 pounds lighter.

February 4th, 2013

February 4th, 2013
5’9″, 226 lbs.


How did you do it?

I’ve been asked that question a few times recently after posting a photo of my weight loss progress on Facebook.  It’s really a simple answer:  I watched my calories and I started moving/exercising.  I am still overwhelmed by the number of supporting comments and likes that the photo received.  Losing 53 pounds is definitely no small feat, but I am still 26 pounds away from my goal (to be reached in 4 months) and starting this blog will be a wonderful motivator for me thanks to all the positive feedback from my Facebook family.  If I can inspire just one person to lead a healthier lifestyle, I consider that a beautiful sentiment of giving back.

Let’s begin with how I got started.  8 months ago I made a decision to change how I lived my life and take control of what I put into my body.  I didn’t change overnight.  I didn’t dive right into this new lifestyle without any struggle or set back or fluctuating numbers on the scale.  I didn’t take a magic pill and wake up 53 pounds lighter.  It took me 3 months to find a rhythm where I actually wanted to work out and move my body on a daily basis and eat healthy to fuel my newly blazed fire for wellness.  I always felt I needed to move, but I never truly ever wanted to.  I’m lazy by nature, but I knew I had it in me to not let my laziness dictate my future anymore.  When I lost a lot of weight the first time in 2005 (please read my About Kate page to learn more) I truly loved the endorphin release resulting from a good work out so I knew I could get back to that mindset with a few minor tweaks of expectation.  I saw some decrease in numbers on the scale the first couple of months after making this change, but nothing extraordinary and with a lot of up and down numbers.  I still have ups and down on the scale, but that’s normal as your body is an unpredictable machine, and nothing to get down about.    My journey is an ebb and flow.  I had to re-calibrate my thinking constantly to accept the fact that slow weight loss is better in the long run, no matter how many times you hear it, you need to believe it and live it.  Instant gratification was not welcome here on this journey of mine.

In addition to finding the time to move and go to the gym or find time at home to do Pilates/Yoga/Wii Just Dance!, I decided to pay closer attention to what and how much I ate.  Being a vegetarian, you’d think I’d be 120 pounds and fit as a fiddle.  If you make the right choices, sure that could happen (for you not me!).  But when you choose a diet heavy in carbs without paying attention to portion size or calories and you don’t exercise or move much during the day, your body is not going to be as energized as you may like and you will not lose weight.  I also made the decision NOT to cut anything out of my diet (aside from meat after all, I’ve been a vegetarian since 1996!).  I still eat carbs, I still eat sugar, I still indulge from time to time in unhealthy cuisine, but I make sure to keep track of it all.   Like I said, I’m lazy.  Keeping track of calories is not appealing to me.  I admit that and I’m grateful to have technology on my side.  I’m also mainly lazy when dealing with myself.  That is not a healthy mindset to be in at 34 years old, or any years old for that matter.  Thankfully I live in a technological age where smart phone apps can make you realize you don’t have an excuse anymore to be lazy.

Myfitnesspal.com is a website and app I found randomly in June when trying to keep track of my calories. I had a failed attempt at counting calories on Spark People a while back.  SP was not as intuitive or visually appealing as MFP was for me.  Counting calories is a daunting task I avoided for years.  But if I learned anything during my weight loss, it truly helps you become accountable for what and how much you choose to put in your body.  The best part is the food index on MFP is massive so you can choose dishes from restaurants or personal recipes and food product calorie content without entering in the calories yourself manually.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  MFP also gives you the big picture per week of calories consumed, so if you are over your calories one day it’s not the end of the world.  Don’t eat as many calories the next day.  It will all even out at the end of the week.  Just remember to log, log, log your food and workouts and try to be as accurate as possible.  I like looking at the big picture in many areas of my life, so this website was perfect for me.  It’s great to know exactly how many extra calories you earned by working out and realizing you will still lose weight if you eat!  Who knew?  I also found that I was able to keep my womanly curves and shape by not cutting out too many calories and foods.  This is very important to me and for my self-esteem.  If you are interested in starting your own weight loss healthy living lifestyle, please friend me on MFP and get started today.  If you are already a member, great!  Log in and request to be my friend!

I also wanted to mention that I don’t know much about BMI or any of those body measurement formulas.  I am not the best person to write about that.  But I do know that the BMI chart for my large frame and muscle mass is bogus so I don’t pay any attention to that nonsense.  I’m also not one to measure everything on my body or weigh my food, though in the past I have kept track of inches and found it rewarding.  I’m just shocked to now have a non-abusive relationship with my scale!  I am not ready to add more numbers to my journey.  I believe that eyeballing portions with a trained eye can be just as effective as measurements.   If you feel measuring out your food and keeping track of your BMI and other body measurements works best for you, great!  It was just not a choice I made for myself.  I know myself in that area best.  I can become obsessed with numbers, so I decided to track my progress with how my clothes fit and how my stomach reacted to my chosen portion sizes.    Listening to your body is so important, I cannot express that enough.  This is also very important during your exercise and movement plan, in my opinion.

My 2012-2013 Monthly Progressive Workout Regiment:

  • June:  I started slowly moving every other day at home by using Wii Just Dance!  That is an amazing way to move at home without leaving the house.  If you truly mimic those dance moves, you can burn a lot of calories in a short time.  I used the Wii early on because I was embarrassed to go the gym without having some sort of stamina or looking a little more fit.  That was my own hang up, quite ironic in a way, and I quickly learned in the following months that the gym is full of very supportive members of all shapes and sizes.
  • July-August: I started going to Retro Fitness in Lawrenceville, NJ 3x per week, making sure to rest every other day.  I’d run on the Elliptical for 15 minutes, lift weights for 15 minutes alternating upper and lower body every other day, stretch and do ab work for 15 minutes.  I did this for a couple of months until I felt motivated enough to increase my days of movement and time at the gym.
  • September:  I felt like I was truly on the path to getting healthy.  3 months down and I had lost over 20 pounds.   I was on track and feeling great.  I increased my Elliptical workout to 30 minutes and lifted weights for 30 minutes.  I went to the gym 4-5x per week and rested when needed.  I am a firm believer in weight lifting to burn calories and feel more fit.  I did not want to bulk up, I wanted to feel stronger and leaner.  I did many reps on lower weights and did a lot of ab and pilates work in the stretching room with and without weights.  This is something I learned I can do at home if making it to the gym was not in the cards for that day.
  • October:  I found a balance between going to the gym and working on movement at home and outside due to a major plateau being hit in my weight loss.  I needed to change up my routine and kickstart my metabolism.  Autumn is my favorite time of year so taking walks around the TCNJ campus where I work, 1.8 miles, was a nice alternative to sweating at the gym at 6am or 6pm.  I also tried different machines at the gym to try and use unique muscles and kickstart my weight loss again.
  • November-December:  Holiday Indulgence! I dreaded the holidays last year.  But, I continued to move my body daily in between family and friend holiday events and starting up a new relationship.  My movements may not have been as calculated as before with days at the gym, but a walk in the evening or a pilates session after work  in my living room or a cleaning frenzy around the house still burned calories and I continued to lose weight slow and steady by logging everything I ate even if I didn’t have time to move that day.
  • January: I went to the gym only once the entire month of January, mainly to avoid the rush of New Years Resolutioners.  I pretty much maintained my weight immediately after the holidays.  Then, my tonsillectomy mid-January was the equivalent to a 2 week juice cleanse.  I lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks on a liquid diet and I’ve been able to maintain that weight loss 1 weeks later.  It’s not how I wanted to lose the weight, but i was very diligent in drinking/ingesting at least 1200 calories a day during recovery as not to cause my body to go into starvation mode.  I am very aware of keeping my metabolism moving in order to reach my goal in a healthy way.
  • February:  After this week I have clearance from my ENT to work out vigorously again.  I’m not sure what my immediate plan is, but I’ll surely keep you all updated via this blog!
%d bloggers like this: